There was no better gift that Charles Leclerc could have presented to the tifosi packing out the Monza grandstands. A deafening cry of delight went up as he secured the Scuderia’s tenth pole position of the season and his eighth, to lay claim to starting at the front of the field for the Italian Grand Prix which gets underway tomorrow at 15 local. It is Ferrari’s 240th pole and Charles’ 17th. It was an excellent session for the team, as Charles and Carlos only required a single run to get through Q1 and Q2.
Q3. In the top ten shoot-out, Leclerc gave his team-mate a tow on the first run, while taking one himself off Lando Norris on his second run, managing to put together an almost perfect lap. The Monegasque crossed the line in a time of 1’20”161, one and a half tenths quicker than Max Verstappen. Carlos was quickest in the first and last sectors, stopping the clocks in 1’20”429, which was good enough for third place. However, the Spaniard will start from the back because of a power unit change penalty.
Different races. Charles and Carlos will therefore face different race scenarios tomorrow. Leclerc needs to have a perfect start and then control his pursuers, who, as always, can count on a strong race pace, while Sainz will be trying to move up the order as much as possible to bring home plenty of points, pushing flat out from start to finish.
Charles Leclerc #16
I’m very happy. Monza is always a special one and to secure pole position here in front of our tifosi, is an incredible feeling. Even more so after we struggled in Spa, another high-speed track with similar demands. We worked hard to make improvements and it looks like we have become more competitive again.
I felt confident in the car from the first practice session on and our race pace was strong, so hopefully we can convert this pole into a victory tomorrow. I will give it everything.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a good qualifying session from the beginning, with strong laps in Q1 and Q2. Then on the final attempts we also did very good laps, although on the last run, my track position was not the best behind Pierre (Gasly), as he was doing very fast out laps and we couldn’t get any tow. Still, it’s great for Ferrari to start on pole here at Monza so congrats to Charles and the entire team.
We can be happy with the performance we have shown today and I think it’s a good testimony of the hard work that has been carried out in Maranello.
I hope we can stage a good recovery tomorrow and for sure I’m going to push flat out to make up as many positions as possible. The support from the tifosi in the grandstands has been absolutely incredible all weekend and we’ll do our best to gift them with an exciting race.
Laurent Mekies, Racing Director
Taking pole position in Monza, in front of a full crowd for the first time in two years, is a really special feeling. We dedicate this achievement to all our tifosi who never waver in their support for us. Charles did a very good job, because once again he put together the perfect lap. Carlos also went very well, putting in similar times to his team-mate and playing the slipstream game. We had already done the same in France and Belgium and getting it right requires great understanding between the drivers.
Since the last few races, we have worked hard in Maranello to get back to the highest performance level and, thanks to everyone’s efforts, today’s result is a first step in the right direction. Of course, it’s only Saturday and the points are given out tomorrow. We know it won’t be easy to keep the lead and bring home the win, because we have seen that Max (Verstappen) is capable of winning starting from the back and so far, Mercedes has always been quicker in the race than in qualifying. Now, we are concentrating on preparing for the race, with the aim of producing the same pace as we have shown in qualifying.